I need to take the reins, says Hunt

NRL halfback Ben Hunt says he needs to take the reins more after his first outing for the Dragons.

NRL halfback Ben Hunt says he needs to take the reins more after his first outing for the Dragons.

After pulling on the Red V guernsey for the first time, Ben Hunt has vowed to take greater control of his new side.

The Australian playmaker had a promising outing in St George Illawarra's 24-18 win over English Super League side Hull FC in a pre-season friendly at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

In his 70 minutes on the field, Hunt kicked well and went within centimetres of setting up tries for Tim Lafai and Jeremy Latimore with his boot.

However, he said he was guilty of taking a back seat to five-eighth Gareth Widdop.

"I started a bit slow, I think," Hunt said.

"I felt my way into the game. Going forward I need to be a bit different and inject myself into the game. I'm the halfback here.

"That's what they need and hopefully next week I can start getting my hands on the ball earlier."

Hunt and Widdop were both outshone by 22-year-old fullback Matt Dufty who looked classy and ensured he will start the year wearing the Dragon's No.1 jumper.

Hunt departed Brisbane after signing a five-year deal with the Dragons while Widdop and hooker Cameron McInnes are on contract until 2021, meaning Paul McGregor has stability in key positions for years to come.

Hunt said the Dragons' new-look spine was a work in progress and cautioned against expecting too much too soon.

"We're working pretty hard at it," Hunt said.

"I can't say how long it's going to take. We're working hard on everything.

"It's going to take a few weeks to work out how players play. You come into a completely new side and have to work out how everyone plays."

Hunt said he was generally unhappy with his side's first outing of the pre-season as they displayed plenty of ring rust.

"We were a bit sloppy, especially in the first half," he said.

"We made too many errors, gave away silly penalties. It wasn't good enough."

Australian Associated Press

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